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United Club membership now $650 effective 8/13/19

United Club membership now $650 effective 8/13/19

Old Jun 18, 2019, 12:29 am
  #46  
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Originally Posted by spin88
If the United Club were a stand along business yes. But its not. It is designed to drive travel to United. if 15-20% of Club members drop, and then start to fly UA less (e.g. get a AMEX card and use it flying on DL or AS or an airline at an airport that has a centurian lounge)...
ASís footprint is impractical for s lot of flyers.

Aside from that, Iím saying thereís a $ level where a Club membership doesnít make sense for me relative to the times Iíd use it. Iíd still be a UA 1K for years to come because (from Hawaii to where I need/want to go) UA makes the most sense. Iíd still have access during intíl itineraries. Iíd still get access to *A at LAX. I visit LAS is often, but the airport is so efficient, Iím managing to minimize my time there, so loss of lounge access wouldnít be a big deal. The big hole for me would be at SFO, but I ainít paying $650 for the 10 times or so I might use it.
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Old Jun 18, 2019, 12:38 am
  #47  
 
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My reading is that airlines (and not just United) have their hands in too msny revenue streams and thst screws up the lounge issue.

They sre now dealing with this by having multiple lounge tiers (UC/Polaris, Admirals/Flagship), so tbey can offer a premium experience to a smaller group of travelers who are a higher profit center. But the reason they have to do this is it is so darned profitable to sell lounge access to CC holders and as one day and one trip passes.

But the more they sell lounge access, the more crowded and less exclusive the lounges are, and the greater incentive to scrimp on service in the lounges because so many non-high value flyers are in them.
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Old Jun 18, 2019, 12:46 am
  #48  
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Originally Posted by dilanesp
My reading is that airlines (and not just United) have their hands in too msny revenue streams and thst screws up the lounge issue.

They sre now dealing with this by having multiple lounge tiers (UC/Polaris, Admirals/Flagship), so tbey can offer a premium experience to a smaller group of travelers who are a higher profit center. But the reason they have to do this is it is so darned profitable to sell lounge access to CC holders and as one day and one trip passes.

But the more they sell lounge access, the more crowded and less exclusive the lounges are, and the greater incentive to scrimp on service in the lounges because so many non-high value flyers are in them.
And because the baseline lounges are more crowded and offer less than they used to, customers who have choices exercise them.
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Old Jun 18, 2019, 2:20 am
  #49  
 
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Originally Posted by Wx4caster

As for the price increase, if my PP Card rate does go up, I may finally decide to do without as long as my *G status continues to get me in to the lounges at HNL, LAX, and IAD.
I assume you donít fly domestic? Last I heard, *G doesnít grant domestic access.
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Old Jun 18, 2019, 2:46 am
  #50  
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Originally Posted by 747FC


I assume you donít fly domestic? Last I heard, *G doesnít grant domestic access.
It would on same day INTL travel on *A/UA

So for the folks dropping Club Card, what is your daily driver CC for general spend (NOT travel or dining - those go to Sapphire Reserve). I am talking bills, auto servicing, mall shops, etc?

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Old Jun 18, 2019, 4:26 am
  #51  
 
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Why someone would pay so much for so little is beyond me. PPass and A3*G are much easier to get
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Old Jun 18, 2019, 4:28 am
  #52  
 
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Originally Posted by ContinentalFan


Many Centurion Lounges are packed, sometimes worse than UCs. The lounge at SFO is a particularly stellar example of overcrowding. AMEX has recently reduced accessóno more entry on arrival unless connecting. And access only three hours before departure. It has helpedóa little.

The United membership increase is long overdue. AMEX needs to hike the price for the platinum card too.
AMEX only recently increased its fee to $550, I donít see a further increase to the annual fee as sustainable given competition from Chase and AMEX.

Outright buying club memberships doesnít make much sense to me as all of the airlines offer discounted access with credit cards. Hadnít make sense for several years
Originally Posted by xliioper
The Delta rate is not new. The Delta fee increases were on Jan 1, 2019 (they were announced on Nov 15, 2018). Both individual and executive rates were raised and they did away with the $59 one-time access passes.
Delta still offers one day $29 access passes with the very popular Amex Delta Gold/Platinum cards. Many a traveler access this way, especially during IROPS

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jun 18, 2019 at 12:26 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Jun 18, 2019, 4:53 am
  #53  
 
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Originally Posted by onthesam
This was the hot food the entire month of May (ORD).

Question: Why is the warning sign in French?

Going back to the subject of this thread. At the new price, I will have a harder time asking my employer to pay for my membership (they paid for it since I joined 3 years ago). I usually have 8-10 domestic trips per year. I always have to connect flights in ORD.
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Last edited by StuckinITH; Jun 18, 2019 at 5:00 am
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Old Jun 18, 2019, 5:00 am
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Adelphos


AMEX only recently increased its fee to $550, I donít see a further increase to the annual fee as sustainable given competition from Chase and AMEX.

Outright buying club memberships doesnít make much sense to me as all of the airlines offer discounted access with credit cards. Hadnít make sense for several years
It depends on how often you fly. I visit a UC around three times a week. Membership makes sense for me.
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Old Jun 18, 2019, 5:04 am
  #55  
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Originally Posted by ContinentalFan


It depends on how often you fly. I visit a UC around three times a week. Membership makes sense for me.
The point is the United Club Visa by Chase is cheaper than a straight membership via UA.

not sure if that is true for all Premier levels though
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Old Jun 18, 2019, 5:41 am
  #56  
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Originally Posted by onthesam
Overcrowded clubs. Degraded food experiences (except LAX <3). This. Is crap.
If the clubs were as bad as described here they wouldn't be overcrowded.
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Old Jun 18, 2019, 5:46 am
  #57  
 
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Originally Posted by spin88
What a joke. I have an Amex PLT card, SO has one too, the AMEX lounges are far, far, far better than UA's lounges, are in most of the airports I frequently, and as long as I fly AS or DL, I can use my AMEX card to access the lounges on them (or internationally) as well. Costs me $550 x2, and I get a great credit card to boot. @:-)

The package UA is offering is just inferior, to go with an inferior lounge. These kinds of things just make UA non-competitive. Faced with flying AS the other day (lounge access) vs. UA (no lounge access) guess who I flew....
The other day I had a two-hour layover at SFO. I first headed to the AMEX lounge. It was PACKED, noisy, stuffy, and had kids running all over the place. I grabbed some food, ate standing up (literally musical chairs with people hovering over those who looked like they were about to leave), and left. I then went to the rotunda UA where I had a seat, power for my laptop, a beverage, and peace and quiet. I guess MMV.
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Old Jun 18, 2019, 6:04 am
  #58  
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Originally Posted by uastarflyer


The point is the United Club Visa by Chase is cheaper than a straight membership via UA.

not sure if that is true for all Premier levels though
It isnít for me, as the UC membership is reimbursed.
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Old Jun 18, 2019, 6:10 am
  #59  
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My break-even for the number of times I attend a UC lounge (average 3 times a week) is a lot higher than $650. Agree with many in the thread above that the issue is more likely from credit card access and *G on INTL continuations. I gauge the latter by the fact that I always sit at the bar and it seems like 35-40% of customers have to do the "I'd like X... oh I have to pay for that kind?... then give me the free stuff".

When I was non-GS I appreciated the irrops help in the UC (especially in Chicago where I've found a few reps that remember me) but even as a GS when I deal with irrops over the phone, the most crowded UC* is still usually preferable to the gate/concourse for me.

*Exception being EWR where I don't even attempt to go into the lounges anymore, also SFO just because the in-concourse dining options are actually really good (IMO) and the square footage is large enough that it rarely feels crowded.
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Old Jun 18, 2019, 6:13 am
  #60  
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Originally Posted by spin88
I am making a more fundamental point. For those who value a decent (and reasonably priced) lounge experience, United is more and more taking itself out of the running. Yes, if you are tied at the hip to United, then it really does not matter what they do to you, right. No need to worry if they are competitive.

But for a lot of fliers, and particularly people who have the AMEX PLT card, flying UA just gets to be less and less of an option.

The point of having lounges is to attract and retain customers. United is not a lounge provider, its an AIRLINE. It attracts passengers (or repels them) with its offerings, and jacking up the lounge price, while cutting their quality (a trend we know is going to get worse as more Polaris Lounges get rolled out) is going to have an impact.

I used to have a Club card, ditched it, and well, when I found that when I flew DL (and now AS) with my AMEX card I got lounge access in their lounges, while on UA I got bupkis, it started to steer yet more of my $$$ away from UA. I doubt I am the only one.
There are currently a grand total of 9 Centurion lounges in the world. Not sure where you get "most airports" from. While I agree that the lounges are head and shoulders above United Clubs, they're also terribly overcrowded. The SFO one has gotten so bad that on several occasions I haven't been able to find a single free seat for a good half hour, at which point I gave up and left.
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